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Local News

DeCamp & Gordon maintenance building, Jones property at Cedar Creek Institute to be dedicated June 22

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute will dedicate property donated by Alice and Ken Jones and celebrate the opening of the DeCamp & Gordon maintenance facility on Wednesday, June 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.,

“When Bill and Jessie Pierce created The Willard G. Pierce and Jessie M. Pierce Foundation in 1998, their goal was to give back to the community and share their love of nature,” said Sara Lien Edelman, communication coordinator at the Institute. Their dream continues to grow with the new Jones property and the DeCamp & Gordon maintenance facility, she said.

 

The public is invited to tour the new maintenance building from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and enjoy free ice cream and educational activities at the Institute.  An exceptional example of energy efficiency, the new 5,256 square feet building provides much needed space for maintenance and equipment storage.  

 

Douglas and Margaret DeCamp,  longtime supporters of the Institute, stepped in to provide the funding to make the new maintenance building possible.  George and Barbara Gordon are devoted supporters of advancing art and education in West Michigan.  Through their support, the Institute offers the Gordon Art Fellowship to nurture artistic development of promising student artists. The Gordons partnered with the DeCamps to fund the new building.

 

Grand Valley State University student Hana Christoffersen,  a Gordon Art Fellow, will speak at the dedication. //

“The Fellowship gave me the unique opportunity to explore, learn, and grow in biological illustration,” Christoffersen said.  “It opened my mind to the possibility of a career in art and science and showed me the value of collaboration between talented science and art students, faculty, and staff."

 

The Pierce family legacy continues to grow with the Pierce’s son, Willard L. “Joe.” 

“Joe Pierce has been an invaluable partner as a board member at the Institute,” said Imstitute Executive Director, Michelle Skedgell. “He led the effort to build a new maintenance facility and helped greatly with researching contractors and materials for the building,”

 

“Pierce Cedar Creek Institute is such a beautiful example of how legacy works,” said Bonnie Gettys, CEO of Barry Community Foundation.  “By creating a place where people learn and expand their appreciation for the land, water and air, Bill and Jessie Pierce truly left behind a gift for generations that they will never know. We hope the community will come and help us thank these very special donors who have made incredible gifts to the Institute that we and our guests will benefit from for years to come.”

 

“This new facility helps us by giving us an actual working space that is set up with the proper tools, is well lit, has running water and is warm in the wintertime,” said Facility Manager Tadd Wattles.  “This allows us to work on projects of all types no matter the weather.”

 

Contractor Andrew Offrink of Morton Buildings, Inc. said energy efficiently was the main force driving the design of the building which features in-floor heating and LED lighting.  Additions that increased insulation include deep sidewalls, thick overhead doors, additional weather seal, and the entire building interior wrapped with a vapor barrier. 

 

In 1961 DeCamp and Pierce started Flexfab in Hastings. Today, FlexFab has a 150,000 square foot plant in Hastings with 450 employees and plants in England, Brazil, and China.

 

The Institute is a non-profit environmental education center located one hour from Grand Rapids and Lansing and 45 minutes from Kalamazoo.  The Institute’s mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of the environment. Set on 742 acres, the Institute offers 10 miles of public hiking trails, numerous environmental programs, and a brunch on the second Sunday of every month. For more information, go to cedarcreekinstitute.org.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new DeCamp & Gordon maintenance facility.

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